Dave DeSantis XTERRA Legacy Grant award winners announced

December 3, 2020

Jessica Culver-Tapp and Bill Daley were named the 2021 Dave DeSantis XTERRA Legacy Grant recipients, enabling the two to pursue their boldest XTERRA travel dreams in 2021. Plus, XTERRA Wild Forest VR and XTERRA Adventures TV Ep6 Premieres today plus an all-new XTERRA Podcast and XTERRA Connect training videos launched.

December 3, 2020 (Honolulu, HI) – Jessica Culver-Tapp and Bill Daley were named the 2021 Dave DeSantis XTERRA Legacy Grant recipients, enabling the two to pursue their boldest XTERRA travel dreams in 2021.

Made possible by 2015 XTERRA Warrior award honoree Dave DeSantis, the grant provides one man and one woman, each year for six years (2018-2023), with $2,500 to support travel expenses to an XTERRA dream destination of their choice.

“When I got the call from Kathy I was in total shock and disbelief, so thankful and honored,” said Culver-Tapp, an ICU nurse currently working in Tucson, Arizona under a 13-week travel nurse contract. “I have been at the center of the COVID madness since it started and I realize we all struggle with something, but it’s what we do with that struggle and how we make ourselves and others better that matters.”

In caring for the community she serves under the most difficult of circumstances, Culver-Tapp has been making a big difference in the lives of many and her efforts matter greatly.

“I love my job and caring for the sickest patients in their worst time,” said Culver-Tapp, who has been racing XTERRA since 2012 when she got her first mountain bike. “To balance it all, exercise and fresh air have been my biggest healers to relax, destress, and process all that life throws at us. With this grant, I’ll be able to travel to a race and soak in the entire experience, and that would not have been possible without it.”

Jessica’s dream trip is XTERRA Taiwan on March 27, “to immerse myself in a culture so different from anywhere I’ve ever been and share Dave’s Live More spirit with the community. I’ll be a humanitarian, athlete, and tourist all at the same time,” she said.

For men’s recipient Bill Daley, a retired high school mountain bike coach from Massachusetts, the grant provides all the motivation he needs to combine his longtime passion for racing and adventure with his newfound love for triathlon and XTERRA.

“In fourth grade I removed the banana seat and monkey bars from my Columbia Tripper and along with some borrowed parts and a can of black spray paint transformed it into a crude but functional BMX bike. Over the next three summers we rode for hours on a BMX track we had built in a nearby Christmas tree farm, all while imagining we were riding in the BMX World Championships. Fast forward 40 years later, and with this grant, here I am with a chance to race in the dirt at XTERRA Worlds in Maui for real.”

Daley said his biggest goals for 2021 are to continue his progression as an endurance athlete, father, and husband, and to carry the torch for DeSantis.

“I could not be more excited to have been awarded the Dave DeSantis Legacy Grant Award,” said Daley. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Dave, but I realize he remains a true ambassador of XTERRA racing and an inspiration to the entire community. I hope to carry on and share his love of racing, joyful camaraderie, and positive spirit with the world.”

In 2013, DeSantis was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma and was given a year to live. He fought the cancer with everything he had and continued to race XTERRA through his treatment. The XTERRA community was a source of support and strength for Dave in his long and valiant battle with melanoma that ended June 5, 2017.

“Dave traveled and raced XTERRA all around the world. He rode with passion in his heart and love in his soul,” said Kathy Doyle, Dave’s wife and chair of the DeSantis XTERRA Legacy Grant committee. “The sport brought immeasurable joy into his life, and his happiness was obvious when you heard him cheerfully whistling while pedaling away for another ride, another race, another challenge.”

In his memory, XTERRA renamed the recurring XTERRA Warrior Award the Dave DeSantis XTERRA Warrior award and to celebrate his legacy further, Kathy established the grant to provide other athletes the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.

“This year’s applicants were truly amazing and the decision to pick just one man and woman was incredible difficult, but we believe Jessica and Bill will be fine stewards of the award,” said Doyle. “We are grateful to all the applicants for sharing their incredible stories of perseverance and positivity.”

Applications for the 2022 Dave DeSantis XTERRA Legacy Grant are being accepted now through September 29, 2021 at xterraplanet.com/DeSantisLegacyGrant.

Past Recipients
2020 – Kyle Furlong and Celeste St. Pierre
2019 – Kyle Grieser/Jordan Winar and Staci Lovell
2018 – Tad Norton and Stephanie Brunnemann

In other XTERRA News…

XTERRA Adventures “The Culture” Premieres Tonight on Outside TV

XTERRA is a Hawaiian-born sport, and the feeling of Aloha has permeated it from the very beginning.

In this, the final episode of the 2020 XTERRA Adventures television series premiering tonight on Outside TV at 9pm ET, we discover the camaraderie and community spirit of XTERRA and learn how it became much more than just a race.

“In Hawaii, the belief is that everything is connected,” explained Clifford Nae’ole, Hawaiian cultural advisor for The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui, the island home of the XTERRA World Championships since 1996.

“The water falls from the heavens, it gathers upon our highest peaks in the mountains, and from there it connects to the land from the realm of the gods to the top lands to the midlands to the shoreline and to the deep seas.  When you are out there on the trails, on the bike paths, in the ocean, you are connected.”

Since its creation XTERRA has embodied the spirit of the land of its origin, and XTERRA competitors are, by nature, seeking to honor the natural world through sport.

“The games of Makahiki, the title of competition for the Hawaiians, were a challenge not only of champions from each district, much like XTERRA athletes from around the world, it was a challenge to themselves, and they were challenging nature,” said Nae’ole.

XTERRA MC Whit Raymond, the announcer for the inaugural event in ’96, says the sport takes its participants back to their childhood and that fundamental joy of being in nature.

“Growing up as a kid, everyone loves to play in the dirt, right?” exclaimed Raymond. “In XTERRA, you’re going out and you’re getting dirty. It delivers, it has this appeal, this addictive personality so people from all walks of life cross that finish line covered in dirt and sweat, and they want the next one. They love it and they see that big happiness amongst everybody and they’re jumping on board.”

Throughout its history, XTERRA has been defined by its people. XTERRA racers are superb athletes, but unlike in other sports where the best-of-the-best are often standoffish and self-centered, these athletes are genuine and friendly.

“The XTERRA family is composed of athletes from many walks of life, but what binds this community together is a common purpose, a genuine love for the sport and a thirst to be in nature and share the journey with like-minded athletes,” said Raymond.  “XTERRA competitors lift each other up. Their success comes because of, not at the expense of,  their fellow warriors.”

Discover the character, the community, and the resilience of the XTERRA Family on episode six of XTERRA Adventures.

New XTERRA Podcast delves into the science of “Mind Over Matter”

What does it mean to be limited by your body?
What does it mean to be limited by your mind?

In this episode of the XTERRA Podcast powered by Braveheart Coaching, Lesley Paterson and Dr. Simon Marshall delve into the mind/body connection with Alex Hutchinson, author of the New York Times bestselling book Endure; Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.

Subscribe: Apple Podcast / YouTube Spotify / Stitcher and others.

“I’ve had a few books in my professional life that have really been aha moments for me, and one of those was Endure,” said Dr. Marshall. “Alex has this incredible intellectual curiosity about what the science is telling us about things that we may have taken for granted, or we think is common sense. And he makes it digestible and actionable for an everyday athlete.”

Hutchinson was twice a finalist in the 1,500 meters at the Canadian Olympic Trials, earned a Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge and a master’s in journalism from Columbia.

“He’s a former elite runner, a physicist, and a journalist, and the convergence of all these roles enabled him to uncover myths and truths in the role of psychology and performance and we get into those in this podcast,” explained Dr. Marshall.

Read Full Transcription


Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience) is a science journalist specializing in endurance sports. He writes Outside’s Sweat Science column, and contributes regularly to Canadian Running, the Globe and Mail, and other publications. Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked as a physicist and competed as a middle-distance runner for the Canadian national team. His 2018 book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Toronto.


Hosted by five-time off-road triathlon world champion Lesley Paterson and her husband Dr. Simon Marshall, the new XTERRA Podcast explores the stories and science behind the quest to Live More. The XTERRA Podcast will feature guests who live, work, and play off the beaten path, share first-person accounts of epic outdoor adventures, and provide valuable tips from industry leaders in the physical and mental health industries.

Find The XTERRA Podcast on major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio. You can always look here as well to use our embedded player to listen to every episode.

Learn more about the podcast here: xterraplanet.com/podcast

XTERRA Wild Forest VR powered by COROS starts today

The XTERRA Wild Forest VR Trail Runs and Duathlons powered by COROS start today, December 3, and run through December 7, 2020. Entry is free and each individual registrant will be entered to win a COROS APEX Premium Multisport watch*.

Options include:
Trail Runs: Kids K, 5K, 10K, 21K, 42K and 5x5K Relay
Full Distance Duathlon: 5K Run | 40K Bike | 10K Run
Sprint Distance Duathlon:  2K Run | 20K Bike | 5K Run
Plus Full and Sprint Distance Duathlon Relay Teams

The races, which are a benefit for the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union who provide a framework for children and young adults aged 6-to-27 to protect nature, are the seventh in a series of XTERRA VR events to engage the endurance community and their families as they train to stay fit and healthy.

Inspired by Germany, home to the XTERRA European Championships, the Wild Forest VR races invite the entire family to join in the fun with five running races ranging from a kids’ K to a full marathon.

XTERRA Kids will receive a digital bib they can color themselves and all VR participants will receive a digital XTERRA Passport to collect a commemorative event stamp to display on their Instagram or Facebook stories.  XTERRA will recognize the top 25 in each division – men, women, and team through leaderboards updated as results are posted and authenticated.  Final results will be published on December 8, 2020.

Full event details and registration are available now at xterraplanet.com/wild-forest.

*To be entered to win participants simply need to register for one of the XTERRA Wild Forest VR events. One entry per person.  A winner will be chosen at random on December 8.  Prize is a COROS Apex Premium Multisport watch or equivalent value ($299USD) and other restrictions apply. COROS is also offering a free additional cable charger with every watch purchase by using the code “XTERRA” and adding the charger to your cart at www.coros.com during checkout.

About COROS Wearables
COROS is a performance sports technology company that helps athletes train to be their best. For COROS it’s all about the outdoors, mountains, and a passionate active lifestyle. We combine high grade hardware with innovative technology to provide endurance athletes with the gear they rely on in the world’s most extreme environments. Advanced technology with an efficient and intuitive user experience is at our core – when you use a COROS product, you know you are getting a tool that has been designed, tested and perfected for the athlete, by the athlete. COROS users have set World Records and been to the highest point on earth, pushing our products to the extremes. At COROS, creation and innovation are never ending. Our customers, the athletes make COROS – be a part of our community @COROSGlobal on Facebook and Instagram.

XTERRA Connect : Core training, Yoga, Pilates, and more
XTERRA racing requires a strong core to transfer power between the lower and upper body, and in this instructional video three-time XTERRA U.S. Women’s Champion Suzie Snyder demonstrates proper technique for time-honored core exercises that will help you stay injury free, and become a better racer.

“Think about the actions when you’re swimming, where your hip rotation + opposite arm pull equals power. If your middle is weak, you’ll lose the connection and power,” said Snyder, explaining how core strength translates to XTERRA racing.  “Also mountain biking, think steep climbs- how much do you use your upper body and core to maintain stability & balance? A lot!”

Dead bugs, planks, v-ups, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and back extensions are familiar core exercises to those trying to build a strong middle, but are you doing them correctly?

“The key to a nice strong core is control, and getting the details right,” said Snyder.  “There are a lot of easy ways to do these movements wrong, because in a lot of instances it’s easier to cheat so it’s important to work on the control aspect and avoid momentum.”

In this video Snyder shows us what control looks like, and provides helpful cues to follow in your own practice.  For example, for a proper plank, she advises us to go through these steps.

“Think stability,” she says.  “Feet and heels together, squeeze heels, thighs, butt, bring your belly button to your spine, pull your elbows to your toes, and pull your toes towards your elbow.  Keep everything straight and in-line.”

More Videos in this Series
Part I – Pre-workout Activation and Warm-up Techniques
Part II – Plyometrics
Part III – Upper Body Strength Training
Part IV – Core Training
Part V – Lower Body Strength Training

Suzie Snyder has been the top American elite woman finisher at the XTERRA World Championship for four straight years, is a two-time XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champion, and has won nine majors on the XTERRA World Tour. Find her on Facebook /suzie.snyder.7 and Instagram @suziesny.

XTERRA Connect released several other new videos this week, including a focus on the variations of side plank exercises to improve range of motion with 5x XTERRA Japan off-road triathlon champion Mieko Carey, and two yoga practices – one featuring the Sage Koundinasana’s Pose with Adrianna Naomi, and the other a heart and hip opening flow with Chloe Kostman

Find these videos and more XTERRA Connect features at xterraplanet.com.


XTERRA® is a global lifestyle brand and off-road race series. What started in 1996 as the world’s first off-road triathlon in Maui, Hawaii, is now an endurance sports lifestyle with a racing presence in over 30 countries worldwide and expanding. XTERRA® cultivates a passionate and dedicated community, celebrated by intrepid triathletes, trail runners and outdoor adventurists around the globe.  Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com.